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Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Overwhelmed. That is how I have felt the last month in preparing for the cross country event. It is now even closer, just one month away, but I feel a little less overwhelmed than I did. Progress has been made in several areas, but many unknowns persist. Whereas my physical preparation had been pretty steady, this last week has been non-existent due to the amount of driving time pulling a trailer to NC, logistical challenges, and prioritizing some of the post-poned “to do” list. Now the physical training interruption is beginning to press on me. We were originally trying to prioritize the actual event route on back roads with this trip, but camping sites were scarce, so that was an education and a new concern. We are learning the mechanics of the RV, foreign to us, and my brother is crafting the website now for which I am tasked content creation, but some of the videoing process is still in the steep part of the learning curve. Social communication platforms and integration remain beyond me and sponsorship help talks with Elliptigo are contingent on some of these other tasks being completed. And, we still have to drive the trailer to the west coast, stopping in Salida for some more truck rack work to allow us to carry bikes for those that may join us for a time.

Why share these likely boring details? The self-powered cross country travel is to serve as an analogy for what someone daring to enter recovery experiences. My uncertainty, my confusion, my frustration, my doubts serve as a metaphor for seeking recovery just as the physical effort, rain, headwinds, and handicapped knee will. And my “struggle”, any stamina, endurance, perseverance I tap are small, safe, comfortable even in comparison to the target of the symbolism, long-term recovery from SUD. They face hurdles beyond the mental and physical to include financial, employment, housing, relational, insurance, and medical care access restrictions. I say that journey is harder than anything I have done. Those engaged have a long crossing from enslavement to the freedom of sustained sobriety that we, privileged to be outside of that journey, can aid simply by reevaluating our attitudes towards those who fight in that arena. You are likely aiding someone close to you based on the statistics, someone in your family and a close friend if you have a normal sized social circle, because 1 in 10 have the genetic susceptibility and 8,000,000 in the US are diagnosable with SUD at any given time (meaning, new individuals, people you may know, are added daily).

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

Clay would welcome any that may like to support this effort by joining in portions of the ride if you like to bike or Elliptigo, or by helping with camping set up, logistics, communications, and/or presence. Contact him through email, or using Facebook or Instagram and you can discuss how best to join in for an afternoon or a week. Even your interest is a blessing and an encouragement.

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Using Racery, you can do your own single day to multi-week paralleling In Joel’s Steps progress. Your efforts can also raise funds and awareness the problem of OUD and some possible solutions in addressing it. All donations will go to the organizations listed that work to alleviate the suffering of OUD.

Would you like to participate in your own way without the Racery format? Clay will be covering around 3600 miles on his route- would you consider a minute per mile of workout? 3600” equals 60 hrs or about 4 hours per week through the 3 1/2 months of estimated Crossing time. Perhaps friends would sponsor you too? You’d be raising funds and awareness. Let Clay know if you take up this challenge, or create your own. He can share that news as encouragement to all!

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